The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3045: Reed My Lips -
Sammy Rimington & the Return of the Mouldy Five

Personnel: Sammy Rimington [cl], Bill Sinclair [pn], Emil Marks [bn], Colin Bray [sb], Big Bill Bissonnette [dm]

Songs: The Best Things In Life Are Free, Magic Is the Moonlight, I Want You, Where the Blue of the Night, The Old Spinning Wheel, Beautiful Ohio, River Stay 'Way from My Door, Roses of Picardy, Forgive Me, Mouldy Five Blues, Rock of Ages, Red Sails in the Sunset, Smiles, On the Road to Home Sweet Home, Where the River Shannon Flows, Should I?, One Sweet Letter from You.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3045: Reed My Lips -
Sammy Rimington & the Return of the Mouldy Five

Jazz Gazette - Belgium

JCCD-3045: Reed My Lips - the Return of the Mouldy Five
In 1966 recordings were made of the original Mouldy Five but they never appeared on Jazz Crusade Records. They finally appeared on GHB 181 & 182 and have not yet been re-issued on CD. But for the CD collector there is now a 1999 version of the Mouldy Five available.
Only three of the original band survive. Dick Griffith & Mouldy Dick McCarthy died in recent years.
The true blue Rimington fan will immediately observe that Sammy is playing here with a rhythm section that is totally different to the ones he is performing with regularly these days. First there is the prominent presence of a banjo. A second important difference is the part the rhythm section plays. In Sammy's own group they stay relatively in the background and limit themselves to accompanying the star, who is, after all, the main reason the public turns up. In the Mouldy Five the rhythm section is more an integral part of the ensemble and especially the piano and drums are almost equal partners to the clarinet. While banjo and bass play strictly on the 4/4 beat, the piano and drums take more rhythmic liberties. Emil Mark's banjo playing is close to Dick Griffith's: both play in Lawrence Marrero's style. Colin Bray is obviously very much influenced by Slow Drag Pavageau. Bill Sinclair's simple and joyous piano has always attracted me. Big Bill, who is playing drums here for the first time in many years offers an anthology of traditional jazz drums as played by Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Sammy Penn and even Gene Krupa. And Rimington - well Sammy is Sammy and adapts himself to the altered circumstances and, doing this, comes closer again to his way of playing in his early years.
The repertory is extremely well chosen. There is a nice variety between up tempo and slower numbers. For the many Rimington [and George Lewis] fans this CD certainly is a must, the more because it shows him in a different concept than usual
- Marcel Joly


Just Jazz - Nov 1999 - British

JCCD-3045: Reed My Lips - The Return of the Mouldy Five
This album represents a nostalgic reunion for three of the musicians concerned, as the orginal unit was an offshoot from Bill Bissonnette's Easy Riders, based in the Connecticut area during the 60s. Many distinguished jazzmen from New Orleans guested with the band during that fruitful period [as affectionately documented in Bill's book "The Jazz Crusade"] and it also provided a helpful showcase for such visitors from Britain as Sammy Rimington and Barry Martyn, on their way to the Crescent City. The reason the group was called "mouldy" was due to their original bassist, Dick McCarthy's, nickname after his proclivity for the early styles of jazz. Unfortunately "Mouldy Dick" wasn't well enough to make this session so Colin Bray was invited down from Toronto to dep on bass. His name may be known to readers for the sterling work he has done on helping compile classic re-issues on CD such as Armstrong with Fletcher Henderson and for his work with Brian Towers Hot Five Rhythmakers. Pianist Bill Sinclair was in the original line-up but banjoist Emil Mark replaces Dick Griffith, now deceased.
Sammy is on fine form here, using the poignant tone he inherited from George Lewis to great effect and almost uncannily interpreting many numbers that George never recorded but would no doubt have handled in a similar way. He's exercised his gift for unearthing neglected tunes liberally here, and highlight for me include"Magic Is the Moonlight," "I Want You" [with a Purnellish solo from Sinclair], "Beautiful Ohio," a jaunty "Rock of Ages" and a swinging "On the Road to Home Sweet Home." There is varying tempos in the drumming, at least in the early numbers. Maybe Big Bill [known primarily for his trombone work] hadn't played much prior to the session and took some time to settle down as things are perfectly OK on the later tunes. Colin Bray's bass is sonorous and hits just the right balance, helping the rhythm along nicely once things get under way. .All in all, a must for Rimington collectors.
- Mike Pointon


Letters:

After listening to JCCD-3045, the Mouldy Five, I got to tell you one thing: you got Penn down to perfection. This is going to be my favorite CD. I play it daily. This is one excellent group. When it comes time to vote on the next Jazzology Jazz Poll, you're going to be first on trombone & first on drums! As a matter of fact I'm going to vote for all of the Mouldy Five.
- Alfred Noel - U.S.A.


All About Jazz.com

Jazz Crusade, as the name suggests, continues its quest to put to CD New Orleans jazz performed by a roster of memorable practitioners of this music, which is an important keystone of jazz. The title implies with the word return, that the Mouldy 5 was somewhere and is now back. And that's exactly the case. Big Bill Bissonnette, the leader of Jazz Crusade, is bringing back the group he once headed during the 1960's. There's been a few personnel changes since then as one might expect. Mould Dick McCarthy (better known as Mouldy Dick) has been replaced by Colin Bray on bass and Dick Griffith's banjo spot is now in the capable hands of Emil Mark. But three original members are still going strong, Bill Sinclair, Sammy Rimington and Big Bill.The play list consists of 18 tracks and, for a refreshing change, does not include those staples of traditional jazz one generally finds on so called "dixieland" jazz albums. Rather, there's nonconformist tunes like "The Best Things in Life are Free", "Red Sails in the Sunset" and "Where the River Shannon Flows". All familiar tunes to be sure, but not usually played New Orleans style.
English born Sammy Rimington is the featured player on this reincarnation of the quintet, although all members get plenty of opportunity to spend time in the solo spotlight. Rimington is a disciple of George Lewis whose style was shaped by the non creole playing tradition rather than by the famous New Orleans clarinet teacher, Lorenzo Tio, Jr. who taught and influenced many of the clarinet players in the Crescent City. Thus Rimington has a wide vibrato and frequently employs glissandos which were so common to the George Lewis school. Many of the tunes on this CD clearly reveal this approach, but especially a lovely "Where the Blue of the Night" (Bing Crosby's theme song) and "The Best Things in Life Are Free". The former features some fine piano by Sinclair. The slow drag tempo special to this music is best articulated in the "Mouldy Five Blues". This tune by the way is a head arrangement was not planned for the session, but just came up during the set. They just started playing it feeding off each other's imrpov.
Bill is on New Orleans type drums putting away his trombone for this session. Emil Mark's banjo keeps time throughout sustaining the rhythm for each tune making Colin Bray's bass almost unnecessary. This unique album - - unique mainly because of the play list - - of New Orleans jazz makes one glad that the Mouldy 5 have returned after almost 40 years. This CD is recommended.
- Dave Nathan


Jazzitude.com - Internet Magazine

The recording session for Read My Lips was done just two days after the full Easy Riders Jazz Band recorded Walking With the King with New Orleans trumpeter Gregg Stafford. That's appropriate, since the Mouldy Five was an offshoot of that band. According to the liner notes, this five piece was put together by members of the Easy Riders to enable them to play on nights that the Riders didn't have a gig. The group played at a small bar in Hartford, Connecticut on Thursday nights and was played $8.00 per member.
Bissonnette opines that this session was even hotter than the one with Stafford and the Riders, but I must disagree. Though this session is excellent, it doesn't always approach the level of the Riders' recording, at least to my ears. Sammy Rimington is limited to clarinet here, since the Mouldys never used saxophone. While Rimington is an excellent clarinetist and the absence of sax adds to the authenticity of the group's sound, I personally like to hear a little sax and there just doesn't always seem to be enough variety of sound here over the CD's 72 minute playing time since there are no other horns. But there is plenty of energy and the group certainly does create some excitement. Bissonnette plays New Orleans-style drums here, and he provides some real spark on numbers like "The Old Spinning Wheel." Pianist Bill Sinclair, bassist Colin Bray, and banjo player Emil Mark also keep things lively, driving Rimington along whether he is soloing or offering up a sweet take on the melody.
Rimington is certainly the main attraction here, and make no mistake; he is up to the task. A veteran of Ken Colyer's Jazzmen, one of Britain's most outstanding trad jazz outfits, Rimington came to the States and joined Bissonnette's Easy Riders Jazz Band and, subsequently, the Mouldy Five. Time has not taken away his truly sweet clarinet sound nor dulled his chops, in fact his playing here shows a great deal of maturity as he seems to easily reel off lick after lick as though it came straight from God's mind to his fingers. If that seems like an overstatement, all I can say is listen to this damn CD.


JazzGazette.com - Internet Magazine

In the previous issue of The Jazz Gazette" I reviewed a double CD of the Easy Riders Jazz Band on Jazz Crusade. This time I review the recording of a reconstruction of a reduced version of this band called the Mouldy Five. The name "Mouldy Five" refers to "Mouldy Figges", the nickname given in the forties by the modem jazz fans to the people who liked New Orleans jazz. On those days that the complete band didnt have a job to play, the smaller group tried to make an extra buck, but the real reason was rather that it gave them an occasion to play their favorite music again; they might as well have played for free! Trumpet and trombone were absent in the smaller outfit and trombonist Bissonnette switched to drums for these occasions. In 1966 recordings were made of the Mouldy Five but they never appeared on the Jazz Crusade label. To hear them we had to wait for George Buck, who had taken over the complete sixties output of Jazz Crusade. They finally appeared on LP ' on GHB 181 and 182 and have not been reisssued yet on CD. ft is possible that George has still stocks of them and for the fans of Sammy Rimington it most certainly is worth a try to get them. For the "CD-only-collector" there is now a 1999 version of the Mouldy Five available.
Of the original Five only four are left. Dick Griffith died. Dick McCarthy has serious health troubles. They are replaced respectively by Emil Mark and Colin Bray.
The true blue Rimington fan will immediately observe that Sammy is playing here with a rhythm section that is totally different to the ones he is performing with regularly these days. First there is the (prominent) presence of a banjo. A second and important difference is the part the rhythm section plays. In Sammy's own groups they stay relatively in the background and limit themselves to accompanying the star, who is, after all, the main reason why the public turns up. In the Mouldy Five the rhythm section is more an integral part of the ensemble and especially the piano and drums are equal partners to the clarinet player. While banjo and bass play strictly on the 4/4 beat, piano and drums take more rhythmic liberties. Emil Mark's style of banjo playing is close to Dick Griffith's (and both play in Lawrence Marrero's style, George Lewis' regular banjo player for many years), while Colin Bray is obviously very much influenced by Slow Drag Pavageau, the bass player of the same Lewis band. Bill Sinclair's simple and joyous piano style has always attracted me. Big Bill, who is playing drums here for the first time after many years, offers an anthology of traditional jazz drums as played by Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Sammy Penn and even Gene Krupa. And Sammy...well Sammy is Sammy and adapts himself to the altered circumstances and, doing this, comes closer again to his way of playing in his early years.
The repertory is extremely well chosen and it is remarkable that none of the numbers recorded by the original Mouldy Five is repeated here. There is a nice variety between up tempo and slower numbers so that this 72 minutes playing CD is never boring. My personal selections are "When The Blue..." (the Bing Crosby classic), "Beautiful Ohio" (a beautiful tune!) and "Where The River Shannon Flows" (from the Irish repertory of the old New Orleans bands). It is very much possible that with a next listen-to other favorites will appear. For the many Sammy Rimington (AND George Lewis!) fans this CD certainly is a must, the more because it shows him in a different concept than usual.
-Marcel Joly


King's Jazz Review - British Jazz Magazine

Here, clarinettist Sammy Rimington is playing at his very best. Matured, yet it seems like only yesterday when he was a teenager sideman of the famous Ken Colyer Band, and then on his return from the USA, when I used to listen to him in the Bill Brunskill band with trombonist Michael Pointon in the front-line at the Lord Napier in Thornton Heath, Croydon.
Some eight years previous to those days of 1967, Mike had brought Sammy into his group of transient musicians, when eventually the Pointon group became known as the Barry "Kid" Martyn Ragtime Time Band.
In 1965 Sammy set out again for the Americas, this time at the invitation of Big Bill Bissonnette and was to become a member of the Easy Riders Jazz Band, a group of five that the leader refers to in his liner notes of this album thus;".. they could not get enough of playing this amazing, witty, sexy, sensitive music." Sammy, having previously been to New Orleans and had become enraptured in their music, who had played with some of the Crescent City old time musicians, he, naturally would have had no hesitation in accepting the Bissonnette invite.
Europe is much the richer for the dedication, enthusiasm and work that Big Bill has put in to capturing New Orleans jazz whilst there was still enough old-timers around playing it to pass on to one, Big Bill, whose personal involvement with them grew to the extent to be allowed for him to play and record their music, and so, to benefit the world of this good-time jazz by way of his collection, experience and knowledge of the music.
This April 1999 album has two changes of personnel to that early Mouldy Five which Big Bill lovingly writes about. Banjoist Emil Mark replaces Dick "Grif' Griffith - deceased, and bassist Colin Bray from Toronto, Canada replaces Mould Dick McCarthy, who was in poor health at the time. (Richard McCarthy, died on the 9th of August 1999 in St Vincent Hospital, Bridgeport, CT. Known as "Mouldy Dick" for his love of olde-style jazz music - namely that of, Thomas, Lewis, Miller, Robinson, Spivey, Capt John Handy and more).
Leader trombonist Bill Bissonnette playing New Orleans styled drums on this occasion, complements beautifully the clarinettist on Beautiful Ohio as he does throughout the album, and this plays an integral part to the authenticity of these recordings. The downside being, that the string bass and banjo are under recorded, but seemingly, covertly, contributing to the tone quality of the rhythm in its originality.
The Bill Sinclair piano, is governed inspite of, and yet because of the repertoire of the album, furthering pianismic ideas other than being solely decorative. It is a style at the aftermath of ragtime with leanings to harmonising the Blues, yet of prior parlour-shop ambiance, imagination lending itself nicely to "parlaphonic1 unobtrusive control to the rhythm section, thus contributing in major, to a worthy Easy Riders re-union.
Apart from Mouldy Five Blues which is undoubtedly an original, the remainder are all well known tunes outwith composer names which Sammy Rimington handles interestingly in a developed style with tinges of his mentor running through, perhaps noticeably so to the George Lewis connoisseur ears. Apart from Red Sails all are under five minutes and on Best Things and Swallows which feature the chalumeau, the album is not only prominently for Rimington collectors, but also for all people who have listened to and loved singing along with the ballads of yesteryear.
- Ian King


IAJRC Journal - U. S. A.

Forty or so years ago there was a band of five guys who moonlighted from the Easy Riders Jazz Band. They became The Mouldy Five and worked mostly for the fun of it when the Riders weren't gainfully employed. Rimington, Sinclair and Big Bill were an integral part of that band and here now is its return (from wherever) .The other members were Grif Griffith and Dick McCarthy, but Grif has died and Dick was too ill to make this session, so new member Emil Mark and substitute Colin Bray are here to carry on the pulsing tradition.
According to Bill's notes, the early band of youthful, enthusiastic musicians never let up and would keep the pedal to the floor during every set. Age and experience is put to work on this CD and the results are just fine and one suspects that the tradition lives. They play a wonderful bunch of yesteryear tunes that will put your memory to the test but more than likely you've heard them all, with the exception of "Mouldy Five Blues." Sammy is a very skillful player with a very pleasing sound that suits this repertoire superbly. Bill's piano playing is easy to take as he effortlessly supports Rimington and turns in some nice solos himself. Emil and Colin make it easy for the others not to worry about where the beat is and the drummer is as exuberant as can be, maybe just one of the happiest cats in Connecticut on this reunion day. He should have been, at any rate. Recommended for your pleasure.
- Russ Chase


Amazon.com—Internet Music Store

A great recording of Sammy with a rhythm section that cooks on every number. Sammy's in great form as well, playing his clarinet with a assured ease that one associates with musical maturity. You can still hear the George Lewis influence but it's incorporated into his own personal sound.
There are 18 tunes on this 72 minute studio recording from 1999. It's a pure New Orleans sound that originated in the 40's with the so called revival. Bunk Johnson, Big Eye Louis Nelson, Charlie Love, Emile Barnes, and many others from this period created a sound that is associate with recordings made by Bill Russell on his American Music label. Sammy's clarinet with Bill Sinclair on piano, Emil Mark on banjo, Colin Bray on string bass, and Big Bill Bissonnette on drums are continueing to make music in this tradition. This particular disc is an exceptional example of music played within that tradition and a superior example of Sammy's clarinet playing...with a rhythm section that, here, is just perfect.
- John C. Graham


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